Feliks Audio – Echo MkII
The new Feliks Audio – Echo MkII is a pure OTL construction tube headphone amplifier with 6N6P tubes. Feliks Audio has increased the power to 380 mW. This will also improve the pairing of lower impedance and some harder-to-drive planar headphones.
This headphone amplifier has 3 RCA audio inputs, which are selectable from the front panel, with a new mute function as well. A lot of effort was done by Feliks Audio to have better interference isolation in the amplifier.
The Feliks Audio Echo MK2 has a 6.3mm jack headphone output on the front panel and a pre-amp output on the back panel. A refreshed look and Feliks Audio has looked very carefully to make the finish of the amp last longer. It is now more resistant to scratches and fingerprints.
Quality build with wooden side panels
The Echo’s Echo MK2 is made of sturdy solid metal with real wood side panels. The wooden panels along with the tubes give the appearance a hint of retro encased in a timeless minimalistic body. Despite being Feliks Audio’s most affordable model, the Echo looks and feels unquestionably premium.
The front panel holds the 6.35mm headphone output and large Alps potentiometer in the center. It has a lovely smooth and weighted action that feels perfectly suited for this robust device.
Around the back, the Echo’s rear panel consists simply of RCA IN and OUT connectors, plus the power socket and power switch. The Echo can be used either as a headphone amplifier, preamp, or directly powering active speakers.
Based in Poland, Feliks Audio is a relatively new company that specializes in handcrafted tube amplifiers. The Echo is their entry-level tube amplifier for headphones and it uses two 6N6P power tubes and two 6N1P driver tubes.
It has an output transformerless topology, which means it will only play well with high impedance headphones. Therefore, Feliks Audio recommends pairing the Echo with headphones that have an impedance of at least 100 ohms.
Feliks Audio – Echo MkII Smoother and organic sound quality
The Echo comes with 2 6N6P power tubes and 2 6N1P driver tubes, which lend credibility to a very slick and silky sound signature. The 6N1P family expressed a very gently warm tonality on the low end, as well as a reserved but plentiful treble.
In the case of the Echo, the experience doesn’t quite match. But, that is because of the OTL design. The sonic signature of this family of tubes is more or less being bypassed in exchange for a neutral sound. This is a totally neutral or clinical experience.
The Echo imbues the sound with a hint of extra warmth and earthy naturalness. It sounds richer, smoother, and more organic. The bass gains a little fullness and body, but the echo keeps it clean and pristine, preserving texture and definition.
Like the bass, the midrange is lush, opulent, and full of nuance and texture. There’s no loss of fidelity or resolution, just a natural warmth that gives the music an inner glow. It reminds me somewhat of the Arcam irDAC-II with its smooth character and rich detail, but it has a more dynamic and lively feel.
The Echo adds sweetness to the treble without dumbing it down or losing any detail. Hi-Hats and cymbals sparkle and are rendered with extra air, as if they’re feathered lightly. Note density is left intact and the treble is never left feeling too diffuse or washed out. But some of the edges are taken off, which is perfect for brighter headphones.
All this takes place on a blissfully black background. The Echo has been crafted with premium components to keep the noise floor at a minimum, and this is especially noticeable when using sensitive headphones or in-ear monitors. It provides pure, clean power, a touch of warmth, and organic sweetness.
Last thought about the Feliks Audio – Echo MkII
If you are on the lookout for something to elevate your headphone experience and crave a natural, warm, and dynamic sound, we recommend the Feliks Audio Echo highly. It has become an integral part of the desktop setup and won’t be moving anytime soon.
All in all, I considered the Echo to be a great starter piece for fledgling audiophiles who are curious about how tube amplifiers sound. It is well-built and it imparts a pleasingly warm and natural tonality to your music that will make you smile as you re-listen to your collection.
- Power tubes 6N6P x 2, driver tubes 6N1P x 2
- Frequency response: 15 Hz – 45 kHz +/- 3 dB (300 ohm)
- Input Impedance: 100 kOhm
- Power output: 350mW
- THD: 0.4 % (300 ohm, 20 mW)
- Optimal headphones impedance: 100 – 600 ohm
- Preamp safe mode
- Headphones output: Jack 6.3mm
- RCA audio input
- RCA audio output (pre-amp)
- AC: 230V/120V (power cord included)